At the start of the year, Brisbane post-hardcore quintet brought us an EP titled Abandon Ship, which helped to cement them as one of Australia’s hottest up and coming metal acts. Now they’re back with the second part of a two-piece package – Abandon Hope – and it may just be even better.
They burst out and quickly forge a high standard with Desolation, packing an insurmountable energy driven by a wild melody. Miles And Miles has some fantastic lyrics on display, and they continue to maintain a sturdy pace with the fast-tempo Shadows, topped off by an exciting chorus.
Tidal Waves is catchy as hell, more good writing is delivered in Legends Die Hard, and they ramp it up once more for the blow-away closing track, You’re Killing Me Smalls, jammed with fierce riffs and led by fiery harmonies.
A supreme follow-up to an already sterling predecessor, Abandon Hope is easily one of the most blood-rushing metal records of 2018, with every track satisfying and leaving the listener out of breath, before they naturally smash the replay button and experience it again and again.
***AVAILABLE ON FRIDAY 13TH JULY***
Nottingham rock outfit Consumed enjoyed tonnes of success over the 90’s and early 2000’s with a range of records to their name and, most conspicuously, being featured as part of the legendary Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 soundtrack alongside heavyweights such as Rage Against The Machine, Papa Roach and Bad Religion.
However, they would eventually split in 2003, but would rejoin together again in 2015, and now they are getting set for a major comeback with a brand new EP – A Decade Of No.
They start off in smashing fashion with Wake Up Warning, which cranks up the energy immediately with a rousing rhythm and a great chorus. Devil’s Chords only ups the ante further, pushing the tempo to another degree. Obscene Like Beverly Dean is by far the most memorable writing-wise, explicitly detailing experiences with the eponymous council estate beauty queen.
Whopping drums and crunchy bass chords are the highlights of And Anyone Else Who Knows Me, while What Would Cliff Burton Do is a bit more simple but is seriously catchy, and they charge to the finish with the thrilling Cut Me Down.
Well, it’s pretty obvious age means absolutely nothing here. A Decade Of No is a superb record that has proven Consumed to be on the same form as they were in their hay day. Twenty minutes of unadulterated punky goodness from a group of lads with the know-how to get the job done.
***AVAILABLE ON FRIDAY 13TH JULY***
Glasgow pop punk quartet Century Thirteen have been on the go for a number of years now, having released a pair of EPs in the past and playing a plethora of shows, supporting notable acts such as Fenix TX, Altered Sky and The Bottom Line, among others. But now comes by far their biggest test to date – their self-titled debut full length album.
Get Off affixes the energy from the offset, while the similarly bouncy Is It Just Me sports good lyrics. Blow Up The Open World is joyfully speedy, the rhythm of From This Hell is infectious and Not My Place gives us fine riffs.
Ours is pretty damn heavy by the band’s standards, but very welcome, and that established aggression flows into the stringent The Last. A Million Times and What Went Wrong are both solid, but they properly get going again with the catchy Dark Descent.
The orchestral reprise of Get Off makes for something completely different, but it does sound great, and they wrap up with the dynamically rocking Break.
Century Thirteen have upped their game big time, for this record is an excellent one that has truly fleshed out the group’s potential previously not realised. The album’s biggest strength lies within it’s variety; the diverse and constantly evolving sound allows for songs to better stand out from one another. A must-listen, this one is.
Glasgow rockers Avante are a band that crop up in my radar now and again, although not doing anything particularly significant. That is until recently, when they released their debut album – Divergence.
Glory Hounds kicks it off in jubilant fashion, setting the bar high pretty early; maintained with the avid You Are Off, topped off by a blend of passionate harmonies. The guitars are in full motion in the massive True Colours, while Clocks is a solid piece with a cool drum-happy finish.
Crux has a very smooth rhythm at it’s core, and Raptures starts quietly before breaking out into a fun and catchy number. Following the decent The Others, the energy is elevated with Spaces, featuring strong riffs and hardy beats.
Running is packing a large, memorable chorus that is tailor made for audience participation at gigs, and Islands serves as a hell of a finale, going at a medium pace to begin, taking it down a notch, and finally bringing it up for a rip-roaring finish.
From out of nowhere, Avante have delivered one of the biggest sleeper hits of the year so far. A cracking compilation with a tight production quality to match the standard of the material on show.
Hailing from Edmonton, No Problem have emerged as an essential act in Canada’s underground hardcore scene over the better part of the last decade, and their latest offering – Let God Sort Em Out – perfectly sums up the status of this quintet.
The titular intro gets the moody juices flowing, before the pairing of Get The Feeling Back and Isolation get the record properly going in energetic fashion. Circling The Drains rides off an insane pace and a wave of screeching guitars, and No Justice No Peace is a major focal point with poignant writing, maybe the best of the entire album.
The tracks continue to get better, with catchy rhythms and aggressive vocals in My Only Escape and especially Say Goodbye. Eyes Of A Killer is a potent number with more stand out lyrics, and it’s just a constant stream of manic ferocity with the trio of Warpaint, Life and Straight Line.
Patriots Of Jesus Christ is another key highlight that unfortunately ends way too soon, just as it begins to hit a real groove, but the riffs are off the wall in VX Gas and they finish off decently with the twosome of Let It Bleed Part II and Next To Die.
Let God Sort Em Out is a hell of a rush, one that is consistently tight over it’s half hour plus duration. Damn good stuff.
And now in a similar vein, we turn attention to Edinburgh for a group who have been gaining attention as of late – Goodbye Blue Monday, who are fresh off releasing their new EP, Misery-Punk Ruined My Life.
The title track runs off a bloody good rhythm, plus the collective vocals and chorus are great. Worst In The Mornings is rocking that same energy, with memorable lyrics to boot.
Love Is A Noose For Two cranks the tempo even further upwards, as the guys throw out a mix of nice riffs and bass lines. Add the fact it’s catchy as all hell, and you have yourself a superb finale.
While regrettably short, this sweet trio of tunes is worth the change.
I got my first taste of Edinburgh musician Samuel James-Griffiths, aka Inkfields, when he released his debut full length album Beneath The Waves not too long ago, and it was a very nice piece of work. Now he’s back to boost his already bustling discography with yet another EP – The Great Basin.
Take Me Down is utterly sleek, with a fluid yet catchy beat accentuated by the riffs and electronics. Samuel’s harmonies are a key element in Fire In My Heart, and the song as a whole has such a stunning, other worldly sound to it.
Dust Bowl is calm and enthralling, plus the harmonicas are a neat bonus, and finally Petrichor draws with it’s captivating rhythm, hooking lyrics and polished guitar work.
There’s no doubt about it, The Great Basin is the finest Inkfields record yet, with every song hitting the mark in one way or another and perfectly demonstrating the talents of a very proficient, and underrated, artist.
TAILBLOCK – THINK OR BE
***AVAILABLE ON FRIDAY 13TH JULY***
Kent hardcore trio Tailblock have been on the go for a couple of years now, and already have some recognition to their name thanks to a successful EP in the form of Burn Your Bridges. Now they seek to take it to the next level with their upcoming follow-up – Think Or Be.
The title track kicks it off immensely well, being very dynamic and sporting a hell of a strong chorus. They retain that momentum progressing into Heavy Arms, which runs off a rigid rhythm. The riffs are tight and the vocals forcible in Rockets, and they blaze through the short but heavy Blisters.
They take occasional breaks over the course of Listen, giving time for the solid writing to sink in, and they eventually go in a more stripped down direction for closing song 100, with a more lyrical focus on show.
The guys have done it again, giving us all a cracking record that has a palpable energy to it and can be easily be relished by any fan of rock.
A band that took over a year to get off the ground with the right people for the job, German rockers Glanville are finally ready to break through with their debut EP – First Blood – and what a debut it is.
They get the ball rolling with the bloody amazing God Is Dead. From a wild rhythm, to a blow-away chorus, to the phenomenal vocals, this is easily one of the best opening tracks of 2018.
Once finished, they dive straight into Dancing On Fire, and although not as insane, it’s still a pretty catchy number, but Durga The Great kicks the pace right back up, while the guys throw out some rollicking riffs.
This remains a constant in Demons, and the writing is not too shabby either, and lastly Time To Go makes for a great climax, and the addition of flutes of all things surprisingly help make it all the more epic.
First Blood is a seriously impressive first effort that is minimal in flaws, being consistently action-packed all the way through and leaving listeners dying for more.
Scotland is home to an assortment of excellent Americana acts, and Perthshire group The Carloways are no different, proven by their self-titled debut EP.
Crawlin’ Back is a very nice way to start, as it sticks in the head, not to mention the added harmonicas are fantastic. One More Night has plenty of energy in the verses, while bringing it down for a milder chorus.
Hold Me Up has a warm, acoustic-driven first half, but gradually the band ease into an enticing and catchier second half, before going all out for No Sympathy, loaded with staggering pianos and exhilarating guitars.
A really fun record with enough variety between the tunes to keep it spicy and warrant multiple listens.
Stolen Wings is the brainchild of Scottish musician Mark Fraser, who has been involved in a number of endeavours over the years, most notably as frontman of False Hopes, but after a long time of deliberation and plucking up the courage, he’s decided to go solo and give us an EP titled All Roads Lead Here.
Shallow Heart is a welcoming starter, being quick to show off some very fine writing; even more so with In Our Youth, where the distorted riffs add an extra layer and fit well with the tone of the song.
End Of You may just be the highlight, as Mark exhibits such sheer powerful emotion through his vocals, and all those elements are forged and displayed in the last number Infinite Regress.
I’m thoroughly impressed with Mark’s work here. All Roads Lead Here is a fiercely engaging EP that just has you hooked from beginning to end with it’s candid sincerity. Mark has proven he can do it on it’s own, and I think he’s capable of even more.
EDITED BY JASON SMALL
PRODUCED IN ASSOCIATION WITH UMLAUT RECORDS, SAN PR and VIRAL PROPAGANDA